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Image / Editorial

Mater Hospital nurses are fundraising to make hospital stays feel like home

by Edaein OConnell
26th Mar 2019

A group of nurses at Dublin’s Mater Hospital are raising money to fund non-medical items for in-patients to make the ward feel more like home.

Six oncology nurses who work on St Vincent’s Ward in the hospital are running the Women’s Mini Marathon on June 2, to raise funds to buy items such as fitness equipment for those who are staying in the unit.

Improving the hospital experience

On their fundraising page, the nurses wrote, “Unfortunately we all know a family who has been affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Related: ICU: What it’s really like to work in an intensive care unit

“As six nurses working on St Vincent’s ward, an inpatient oncology/haematology medical ward in the Mater Hospital, we see what patients and families go through first-hand; our aim is to try and improve their experience with us as much as we can, from diagnosis to discharge.”

Many of the patients who are staying in the ward will be there for up to a year receiving chemotherapy and other life-saving treatments.

Patients’ input

The nurses recently surveyed the patients to find out what would make their stay at the hospital easier and make the ward feel “more like home”. The patients said they would benefit from fitness equipment such as exercise bikes and other forms of holistic care.

Speaking to The Irish Times, one of the nurses Joanna Lambe explained that while the hospital has the appropriate medical equipment, there is nothing there for patients who stay in the wards for prolonged periods.

She said: “We want to raise enough money to get exercise bikes for the ward, a library, and camp beds for people who are staying over the night with patients.”

Funding in hospitals for these types of amenities is mostly non-existent, but Joanna believes it is something which should be available to all hospitals. She says, “In a hospital setting, there is only funding for the bare minimum – to get patients well and get them discharged, but not for the kind of things that will make our patients and visitors stay more comfortable.”

You can visit the nurses fundraising pages on Facebook or JustGiving.

More like this:

  • Life as an emergency nurse: ‘I’m their nurse, but I’m also their mammy, their counsellor, their friend’… here
  • Living with hidden illness: ‘My pain fell on deaf ears – I was told I’d be grand’… here
  • We repealed the eighth: here’s what’s next for women’s health in Ireland… here